Mary Magdalene gets its first promo reel at Cannes

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There are two Bible-themed movies coming out in November — just six months from now — and so far there have been no trailers or clips for either film.

But journalists at the Cannes film festival got a sneak peek at one film yesterday, when Focus Features showed them a promo reel for Mary Magdalene, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus and Rooney Mara as Jesus’ most famous female follower.

I haven’t seen much in the way of detailed descriptions of the footage in question, but a few movie journalists have posted brief reactions. Variety’s Brent Lang called Phoenix’s Jesus “ethereal” and Mara’s Magdalene “empowered”, and Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan said Phoenix’s Jesus comes across as “kind of a bemused hippie?”

If I come across any other descriptions of the promo reel, I will add them here.

The Weinstein Company is releasing Mary Magdalene in the U.S. on November 24. The other Bible-themed movie that month is The Star, opening November 10.

— The above image shows Phoenix and Mara in their previous film together, Her.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).